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*Running Related Injury Prevention Through Barefoot Adaptations

TITLE: Running Related Injury Prevention Through Barefoot Adaptations 1987-1.pdf

Accessible Summary:

Purpose: To test the hypothesis that measurable changes in foot morphology when bearing weight occurs when normally shod subjects adapt to barefoot locomotion.

Synopsis: Normally shod subjects modestly increased barefoot walking and running. Their feet were x-rayed before and after,while supporting weight on a platform that required the center of pressure to be sustained near the center of foot arches. Barefoot activity resulted in reduction in overall foot length due rising of the longitudinal arch. There was increase foot width at the metatarsal-phalangeal joints presumably due to development of interosseous muscles. Presumably plantar tactile sensations associated with even modest barefoot activity is capable of inducing changes that could add shock absorbency to the foot, improve stability widened base of support, and perhaps unload the plantar fascia, decreasing risk of plantar fasciitis.


It was the first report asserting the following postulates:

1) It was the first published report advancing the notion that the modern running shoe was a design failure because it failed to protect.

2) The human foot was not inherently fragile requiring protection from footwear.

3) The evolutionary necessity of a durable foot.

4) Walking and running barefoot might protect against injuries that are frequent when normally shod individuals run with shoes.

5) Plantar tactile information may be relevant to our understanding of safe human locomotion.

6) Some aspect of modern life - perhaps footwear and man made support surfaces were the source of the injury problem.

It was the first published report asserting the following hypotheses based on data from the experiment:

1) Surface irregularities of natural surfaces may be essential to our understanding of safe human locomotion.

2) "Pseudo-neuropathic" may adequately describe the injury mechanism of footwear related injuries associated with repetitive excessive impact.

3) “Intrinsic foot shock absorption” was present in the human foot.